Eating Less Won't Help You Lose Weight (But Here's What Will)

Photo:Healthy Weight

Ever feel like health news is too overwhelming, fast-paced, or hard to decipher? Us too. Here, we filter through the latest in integrative health, wellness trends, and nutrition advice, reporting on the most exciting and meaningful breakthroughs. We’ll tell you exactly what you need to know—and how it might help you become a healthier and happier human.

At mindbodygreen, we know that the food on your plate can be your strongest medicine—or the one thing standing between you and optimal health. For years, we've been focusing our attention on functional foods that help us achieve well-being, maintain our happy weight, and live the fullest life possible. In recent years, this trend has really started catching on as more and more people start to realize just how much the quality of our food really matters. And now, a new study, published in the reputable Journal of the American Medical Association, is reinforcing what we and integrative and functional medicine doctors have been saying for years: that when it comes to weight loss, what we eat matters more than how much we eat.

There were over 600 participants in this study, and it was conducted with $8 million in funding from different public health groups and initiatives, including the NIH. This weight loss trial stood out because it did not put people on any kind of restrictive diet; instead, the participants were told to consume as much "real" or "whole" foods as they needed in order to feel satiated. The participants received personalized nutrition training and were followed for a year. The results showed that the people who lost significant weight were those who focused on eating plenty of vegetables and whole foods; avoided added sugar, processed foods, and refined grains; and didn't worry about counting calories or portion sizes. In other words, this study showed that weight loss might just be as refreshingly simple as this: Eat real foods and lots of vegetables.

Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist who is not involved with the study explained to the New York Times that "This is the road map to reducing the obesity epidemic in the United States... It’s time for U.S. and other national policies to stop focusing on calories and calorie counting." And that sounds pretty great to us.

Frank Lipman, M.D.

Eating Less Won't Help You Lose Weight (But Here's What Will)
Frank Lipman, M.D.

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